Extra £10m of schools funding in Northamptonshire will barely cover rising costs - councillors fear

Councillors at One Angel Square say an additional 10 million of central Government funding for schools will not be enough to sustain them.
Councillors at One Angel Square say an additional 10 million of central Government funding for schools will not be enough to sustain them.

A trickle of extra funding from central Government will not be enough to support Northamptonshire's expanding schools - parties on both sides of the chamber feared at the county council's cabinet meeting.

Historically Northamptonshire schools have been underfunded. For the 2015/16 year, the county was allocated £4,293 per pupil, compared with Westminster, which was awarded £5,872 per pupil and Brent with £5,357.

But the Government's new National Funding Formula, which was meant to even out the finding inequalities in schools across the for the country from April 2018 is still thought to be unfair on Northamptonshire.

It is now known the county will receive an extra £10 million in the 2018/19 financial year - but both Conservative and Labour Councilors at One Angel Square say this simply won't be enough.

Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Abington and Phippsville) said: "This simply will not cover the rising cost of things like school equipment, salaries and pensions.

"This will me will mean schools have to lose staff and they will probably opt to lose support staff first."

Labour Group leader Bob Scott (Lab, Lloyds) told yesterday's cabinet meeting: "What we are seeing and what we have seen in my own area is academies cutting back on the curriculum.

"They are cutting back on teachers - and the teachers are getting fed up because they don't like being cut back."

The county council has been part of the F40 campaign group, a consortium of the 40 most under-funded local authorities in the country, for a number of years.

But the years of campaigning are yet to result in a more even playing field, said Councillor Stone.

"Clearly it is still unfair," she added.

Cabinet member for education on the county council, Councillor Matthew Golby (Con, Duston West and St Crispin) told the cabinet meeting more pressure needed to be put on central Government.

He said: "The bottom line is we still need to campaign for a better settlement for our children in Northamptonshire."